As an alternative for a review, synopsis, or anything of the like, I decided to create a soundtrack for the book. Please note that quite a bit of this is intended to be playful and irreverent. I’m rarely serious and this post is no exception.
My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent is a difficult, stunning novel. It’s a hard read, one I would never be able to review. It was actually one of my favorite books of 2017, and it’s still on my mind. That is how this post came to be. If you think you can handle the content (extensive child abuse), I would wholeheartedly recommend it. It’s part coming of age novel, part survival story, and absolutely oozes tension and dread.
01. Survivor // 2WEI
“I want to survive this.” She is surprised by the depth and clarity of her desire.
02. Do Your Worst // Rival Sons.
“She leaves parts of herself unnamed and unexamined, and then he will name them, and she will see herself clearly in his words and hate herself.”
03. Hurt // Oliver Tree
“I hate him for something, something he does, he goes too far, and I hate him, but I am unsure in my hatred; guilty and self-doubting and hating myself almost too much to hold it against him.”
04. The Kids Aren’t Alright // The Offspring
“The truth is that things do not work out, that there are no solutions, and you can go a year, a whole year, and be no better, no more healed, maybe even worse, be so skittish that if you’re walking down the street with Anna, and if someone opens a car door and gets out and slams the door you turn around, honest-to-god ready to kill them, turn around so fast that Anna, who knows what is happening, cannot even open her mouth in time and then you’re standing there, crying, and there’s some guy in a leather jacket and a fedora getting out of his Volkswagen Rabbit staring at you like, is this girl all right? and you want to be like, this girl is not all right, this girl will never be all right.”
05. Cringe // Matt Maeson.
At his best, we are more than all right. At his best he rises above all of it and he is more than any of them. But there is something in him. A flaw that poisons all the rest.
06. Gun // Emiliana Torrini
“She strips and cleans the SIG Sauer by the light of the oil lamp. She taps the magazine in and racks the slide and puts the gun to her temple, just to remind herself that she is never so trapped that she cannot escape. You have lost your guts. Lost your courage. You are disgraced. But, you are still here.”
07. Meet Me in the Woods // Lord Huron.
“You are supposed to come to the door and believe that hell awaits just on the other side, believe that this house is full of nightmares; every personal demon you have, every worst fear.”
08. The Gold // Manchester Orchestra
“Her mind cannot be taken by force, she is a person like [Martin], but she is not him, nor is she just a part of him.”
09. Old Number Seven // The Devil Makes Three
“You need to surrender yourself to death before you ever begin, and accept your life as a state of grace, and then and only then will you be good enough.”
“The time will come when your soul must be absolute with your conviction, and whatever your spread, and howsoever fast you are, you will only succeed if you fight like a fucking angel, fallen to fucking earth, with a heart absolute and full of conviction, without hesitation, doubt, or fear, no part of yourself divided against the other.”